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By VIRGINIA R

By VIRGINIA R. WILLIAMS

vrw001@latech.edu

 

Tech students might know David Orges best as the aviator-wearing-blue man who tries to motivate every Tech fan into a riotous uproar, but today students and ESPN lovers can know him as Mr. Bracket.

Orges, a junior sociology major, ran for the title of ESPN’s first Mr. Bracket and was announced as the winner April 4.

“Mr. Bracket is a title being given to the craziest and most devoted, passionate, supportive college basketball fan,” Paul Melvin, associate communications manager for ESPN, said.

Orges was often painted head to toe in blue, red and white for athletic events. He drove 79 hours to Reno, Nev., to support the Lady Techsters.

He also founded The Blue, a new spirit organization helping students show pride for Tech.

When Orges heard he won the title of Mr. Bracket he could not contain himself.

 “I can’t believe I won,” Orges said.

Melvin said this is the first year ESPN has hosted the contest, and only a few schools were directly focused on by ESPN.

“The contest was featured primarily on www.ESPN.com, with some secondary, on-campus and media outreach at the four schools we visited,” Melvin said.

The schools included Gonzaga University-Sponkane, University of California-Los Angeles, University of Tennessee-Knoxville and University of Connecticut-Storrs.

Orges said he learned of the contest from a friend who told him to at least consider entering the contest.

Orges said he had to fill out an application and send in other information for the contest.

“I first had to send a picture and a blurb about 75 words or less telling about crazy stuff I do as a fan,” Orges said.

Orges said there were originally 65 males running for Mr. Bracket, and after the first round of semifinals, only eight contestants were left.

“I made a video for the second part [of the contest] that talked about myself,” Orges said. “I had to sign an affidavit to allow ESPN the right to use my video on the Internet and on TV.”

Orges started asking fellow students to vote for him after realizing he had a shot at winning.

He has replaced his facebook picture with a message asking for votes and his car has paint asking for votes.

“Some of my friends told their friends from other schools to vote for me so that students from Duke would not win,” Orges said.

Orges said one guy came up to him in the cafeteria and said, “I voted for you for Mr. Bracket.”

He said hearing support boosted his confidence in fellow students and his ability to win.

Dane DePriest, a friend of Orges and a junior secondary education major, said he voted for Orges.

“I think it is just really cool for Tech, a not very well-known school, to get great recognition for [Orges] winning, especially against all of the other schools involved,” DePriest said.

Orges said he is honored to represent Tech as Mr. Bracket. Just the title of Mr. Bracket is cool, and the new ESPN mobile phone and the services that come with it are good, too.

After Orges stopped his enthusiastic scream from winning, he said, “This is the greatest thing ever.”


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